The Arc receives $500,000 for computer lab

RICHLAND -- The Arc of the Tri-Cities will be receiving $500,000 in donations from two large businesses in the Tri-Cities to help construct and outfit a computer lab for new facilities being built in Richland's Spaulding Business Park.

Mission Support Alliance and Lockheed Martin Information Technology announced their contributions of $250,000 each Wednesday at The Arc offices in Richland.

"This will help get us launched into the building," said Cathy Preston, director of The Arc's capital campaign for the 14,000-square-foot building being built on 2.45 acres off Fowler Street. The Arc had a ground breaking for the project in October.

Frank Figueroa, president and general manager of Mission Support Alliance, said its cash donation over the next five years will pay for outfitting the new computer lab. "We believe in participating in the community. That's an important part of stewardship," he said.

Kyle Willers, director of Lockheed Martin Information Technology, said its $250,000 in-kind donation will be provided in the form of computers, software and technical support during the next five years.

"We are so truly appreciative of this," said Judy Westsik, executive director of The Arc.

"This significant contribution means a lot to the future of the developmentally disabled community," said State Sen. Jerome Delvin, R-Richland, and his wife, Josie Delvin, Benton County Superior Court clerk. They co-chair the capital campaign committee.

Delvin said the donations will help The Arc in its goal to complete construction and move into the new headquarters in August "with no mortgage."

Mission Support Alliance is a company comprised of Lockheed Martin, Jacobs Engineering and WSI Co.

The new home for the 55-year-old nonprofit, which has outgrown its offices at 761 Williams Blvd. in Richland, will allow the agency to continue to provide services for more than 1,400 developmentally disabled clients.

The Arc purchased the property from the Port of Kennewick two years ago, hoping to break ground within a year, but raising funds for the $3.6 million project took longer than expected.

Fowler Construction will build The Arc's new home using energy-efficient design standards.

-- John Trumbo: 582-1529;